“One another’s” in the Bible…

We have all heard of the numerous “One Another’s” of scripture. Here are some of them in the ESV:

  • Be at peace with one another – Mark 9:50
  • Love one another – John 13:34
  • Honor one another – Romans 12:10
  • Live in harmony with one another – Romans 12:16
  • Instruct one another – Romans 15:14
  • Wait for one another – 1 Corinthians 11:33
  • Serve one another – Galatians 5:13
  • Bear one another’s burdens – Galatians 6:2
  • Bear with one another – Ephesians 4:2
  • Count others more significant than yourselves – Philippians 2:3
  • Forgive one another – Colossians 3:13

Reread the list again…more slowly!

These biblical “One Another’s” are preached on, discussed, applied and lie at the heart of what Christian community is all about.

An individual Christian would have a difficult time growing to his/her full potential as a disciple of Jesus if not in community and not applying these “One Another’s” through the power of the Holy Spirit.

There is another list of “One Another’s” that are not listed in God’s word and are sometimes practiced more often than those that are listed above. When practiced, these other One Another’s actually stunt our growth, cause our Christian communities to be dysfunctional and send a message to the world that there is nothing different about the way Christians live and treat others.

Here are a few of the Other “One Another’s”:

  • Be unforgiving with one another
  • Be suspicious of one another
  • Be harsh with one another
  • Be vindictive with one another
  • Gossip about one another
  • Get even with one another
  • Slander one another
  • Tell lies about one another
  • Be mean-spirited with one another
  • Be angry with one another
  • Be impatient with one another
  • Be demanding with one another

I have known people who have not talked to a family member in years. I have known people who are at odds with a neighbor whom they intentionally ignore.

I have known people who have left a church rather than be willing to own their part of a broken relationship and take the initiative to make it right.

Here is a simple exercise I want to ask you to prayerfully and carefully participate in:

  1. Take each of the above unbiblical one another’s and rate yourself on a 1-5 scale. One if you are doing poorly in this and five if you are doing well, or somewhere in between. Giving yourself a one means I often do this with others. Giving yourself a five means I hardly ever do this with others.
  2. Write the name of just one person (co-worker, family member, fellow church member or a neighbor) next to one of these unbiblical one another’s that you need to talk with and make things right. I am knowingly expanding this, application-wise, beyond just Christian with Christian.
  3. Contact that person and humbly apologize and ask for forgiveness
  4. Ask for God’s grace to begin relating to this person with the biblical One Another’s in view and be ready to experience what will happen in your personal relationship with Jesus!

I am daily asking the Lord to help me quickly address relational issues as soon as I am aware of them–especially with my wife, four children and seven grandchildren. It’s not easy and my ego and pride often get in the way, but I am pressing into this act of obedience with His help.

Your tendency/temptation will be to say, “Interesting Post” and let it go at that.

Don’t do this. 

If you know that you have a broken and dysfunctional relationship going on (regardless of whose fault you think it is), go and make it right. It will continue to stunt your spiritual growth if you refuse to move on this.

So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:23, 24

Principle: Experience true reconciliation and enhance true worship.